The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997
The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act has provisions for reciprocal registration between New Zealand and Australia for a raft of occupations. In Australia, each state and territory administers its own occupational licences. In New Zealand they are administered nationally.
Mutual recognition of occupations allows people licenced or registered in one part of Australia or in New Zealand, to seek licencing or registration for an equivalent occupation in any other part of Australia or New Zealand. Mutual recognition allows people to use their skills across Australia and New Zealand with minimum regulatory burden and enhanced labour mobility.
Mutual recognition works when a person who holds a licence for their occupation in one country, state or territory, applies for a licence for the same occupation in a second country, state or territory.
If the original licence for the occupation, and the activities it covers, is equivalent to the occupation for which the new licence is being requested, a new licence will be granted if both are assessed as equivalent to the occupation for which it is being applied for. Conditions may also be imposed on the new licence.
Mutual recognition is supported by two overarching pieces of legislation, the Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (MRA). This is an overarching Australian Commonwealth piece of legislation which helps all states and territories act in the same way. Any decisions made about a license under mutual recognition will use this legislation. However, because occupational licencing is a state and territory responsibility, each has also put in place their own legislation to support mutual recognition. For the arrangement between Australia and New Zealand, the supporting legislation is the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 (TTMRA).
To apply for mutual recognition, you must contact the relevant licensing authority in the country, state or territory where you wish to work. They will be able to provide you with the details of the application process. If you do not know who the relevant authority is, contact the country, state or territory government where you are seeking recognition.
While each state or territory may have a different process or set of forms, they will all require similar basic information to be provided. This includes the types of licences you hold, or have held, any disciplinary proceedings and giving consent for information to be exchanged between states.
It is recommended that you contact the local registration authority for your occupation to discuss what licences you may be able to apply for.
Applications for mutual recognition are assessed on a case-by-case basis by local registration authorities. It is at their discretion to determine what country or interstate licences are equivalent to their own.
If you require assistance then please do not hesitate in contacting us for a confidential discussion.